It's Chicago, which means anything--save a Cubs World Series--can still
happen. That said, Rahm Emanuel's mayoral hopes
got a big boost Wednesday
following hearing officer Joseph Morris's nonbinding recommendation
the Chicago Board of Election Commisioners that Emanuel's disputed
residency status should not prevent his name from appearing on ballots. With the board
expected to give its decision Thursday, a variety of voices from around the
web weigh in on Emanuel's handling of the controversy, and explain how
it still could shape the results of February's election
- All Good
In his 69-page recommendation to the Chicago Board of Election
Commissioners, Morris notes
that while Emanuel might have been employed in Washington DC for 20
months, his actions made it clear he still considered Chicago his home.
"Nobody denies that Rahm Emanuel was anything other than a citizen and
resident of Illinois and a resident of the City of Chicago on January 2,
2009," writes Morris. "He began that morning as an elected member of
the House of Representatives, representing Illinois...The heart of the
question of the Candidate's residence is not whether the candidate
established residence in Chicago during 2010 but if, at some point prior
to, or during, but in any event affecting, the period from and after
February 22, 2010, he abandoned it." Morris says he did not. Morris also
points out Emanuel's work in Washington DC was conducted at the behest
of the president of the United States. The Illinois election code states
that no elector can lose residency "by reason of his or her absence on
business of the United States, or this State." In his capacity as White
House Chief of Staff, Emanuel's duties clearly included "attendance to the business of the United
- 'One Step Closer to Ruling Chicago' After months in the election law weeds,
Emanuel is finally going to get to play hardball Chicago politics. New
York magazine's Dan
Amira hopes he knows what he's in for.
If Emanuel does
ultimately manage to make it onto the ballot for the February 22
election, it should be smooth sailing from then on. Two recent polls
show him leading his nearest competitor, former Chicago public schools
chief Gery Chico, by between 23 and 32
points. Although in Chicago politics, you can't take for granted that
getting the most votes will necessarily translate into winning.
Neighbors Not only have those challenging Emanuel's candidacy misjudged
the law, writes the Chicago
Tribune editorial board, they've misjudged what makes a good
Chicagoan. "It would be different if he'd pulled up roots and settled
elsewhere," writes the Tribune, "but in fact Emanuel took steps to
preserve his residency: He leased his house rather than selling it; he
voted absentee from his Chicago address and listed it on his vehicle
registration and driver's license. In such cases, the law focuses on
intent, and Emanuel clearly meant to come home to Chicago."
Over While securing the hearing officer's recommendation was a "crucial"
win for Emanuel, CNN deputy political director Paul
Steinhauser says the situation remains fluid. "The three
commissioners don't have to agree with Morris's decision," notes
Steinhauser. And even if they do, "Emanuel's opponents could still go to
court to try and kick him off the ballot."
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